tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC February 3, 2010 7:00pm-7:14pm EST
getting into it with his former boss. he has a book out. colin powell says it is time to drop don't ask, don't tell. he instituted the whole charade. can the combination of obama and powell get it changed? finally, did she or didn't she? sarah palin says she congratulated scott brown. mr. brown says he can't remember that happening. he must have forgot. and then he remembered. is he becoming a politician before he is a senator? that is in the "sideshow." we start with the question time in america. david corn and mindy finn are here. the question lady and gentleman is, mindy, i will start with you. it is fascinating you in the bloggosphere are calling for a frontline regular back and forth between the president of the united states and his rivals on the other side of the aisle andç with his own people.
tell me what you want to see. >> i think we see both parties are tired of politics as usual. scott brown's win is a rejection of democratic politicians. washington isn't listening and we are tired of politics as usual. i think what happened friday with the president going to speak to the republican retreat allowing republican members to pose their questions and him to respond and even more importantly that it was televised publicly is something that needs to happen more regularly. >> we carried it. i don't think fox played it in its entirety. we are proud of that. david corn, the president of the united states exposed himself to his enemy. the question is would any president agree to a regular format of possible mistakes,
exposure, any time you get on television you and i know you can make mistakes. >> yes. well the president doesn't seem to be too scared of going on tv a lot. >> with a teleprompter. >> wait, listen. >> what about a group hostile to him? >> three dozen people on the left and right, bloggers, politicos, techie people, internet advocates formed this group demandquestiontime.com. there is a petition. we saw what happened on friday and realized there was something special and historic. we called on obama and the republican leadership to do this on a regular basis. it may not be what's best for the politicians. it may be what is best for the american public and to have a civil debate people can watch and decide for themselves. >> i think it is a great idea. i'm tired of each party talking only to itself. here is what david axelrod said on monday to politico.
the thing that made friday interesting was the spontaneity. that was this past friday. if you slip into a kind of convention then conventionality will overtake the freshness of that. mindy, my fear is either party who is in opposition will have a choreography, a set of questioners, ringers, ask questions that embarrass the president and i it will be a tricky number inside the beltway games that offend people more. it won't be spontaneous. >> it is certainly possible that could happen but if shenanigans go on the american people will reject that. it will look like more politics as usual, shenanigans and rejecç who is doing that. >> let's remind ourselves of what we saw last friday. it was a moment in america's democracy at its best. >> we've got to close the gap a little bit between the rhetoric and the reality. if you were to listen to the debate and frankly how some of
you went after this bill you'd think that this thing was some bolshevik plot. >> there is the president out there freelancing, using language that normally is tricky. making a joke about that. you say something you think it is clever, it is taken out of context. the president admits he is a bolshevik, southbound is saying. >> mindy is right, if anybody tried sleight of hand in this it might backfire. obama was at his best. the republicans were at their best in presenting their argument. >> the republicans were caught
offguard. no hard question about national security. the questions were about economics. he could handle it. wouldn't it be tougher if it was about security, foreign policy. >> it would be. there should have been questions about foreign policy and security. during political campaigns the candidates have time to make debates. >> well said. >> then when the campaign is over it is over. >> i worked in party politics. aide, top guy with the speaker. my job was try to get the democrats to respond to ronald reagan every week. nobody wanted to do it. they would have prepared speeches. an hour to respond. nobody wanted to use that hour to respond. any time there is a state of the union, your party did it with governor mcdonnell.
nice speech. it wasn't a response. why don't they use the time to reach the speech and respond toç it. governor mcdonnell didn't do that. chris -- >> just a minute. mindy, they hate spontaneity. >> you are right. they do. there are reasons their approval ratings are abysmal. >> why didn't governor mcdonnell respond to the president? >> you'd have to talk to governor mcdonnell about that. >> he doesn't want to respond. >> who was that guy? bobby jindal with that speech that night had been written in weeks before. >> if you place bobby jindal in a room with the president or the democrats -- >> he would have done well. >> he would have done much better. >> the first thing we ought to do is the state of the union that people have to respond. they can't have a script. they have to watch the speech with the american people, brian williams, me or somebody else has to grab them and say what did you make about the president's speech? what did you like, didn't like? force them to response in real
time. if they can't don't give them the time. >> i think that is a great idea. absolutely. anything that advances our democracy where people are discussing themselves in a more substantive basis rather than it only benefiting the politicians is a step forward. >> this puts both parties, the opposition party and the president on a bit of a hot seat. they have to come out and perform very well. they will be judged on the questions asked and answers given. >> you all watch c-span. you get to see question period. gordon brown the current prime
minister is down in the well. the other guys are up in the hills looking down. this time the president was at the baltimore on this ground podium looking down at the little people. the republicans at their breakfast table with their families. he had an advantage. in the british parliament he is down in the well. >> that is something the british system are more used to. >> they are good at it. >> they are good at it. all we are asking is the minimal step for commitment of regular meetings between the president and the opposition party. >> it is friday night. it is 8:00. what would it look like? >> on msnbc, of course. i think friday -- last friday was a good model. if they want to talk about how the podium is, they do that in presidential debates all the time, the silliness. >> you see the president of either party addressing the congress? >> it doesn't have to be in the body of the congress. it can be in a conference room. these are things that could be talked about. once both sides accept the principle which the white house hasn't done and we are waiting to hear back from the leadership -- >> we had mike pence on friday night and i asked him if he would go along and he said he wouldn't have a question periodç
like that. >> he is not the only voice in the republican party. >> i think you deserve credit for pushing this thing. bipartisan. we are going to take a look at the president today. let's watch the president today. >> some of that transparency got lost. i think we paid a price for it. so it is important, i think, to constantly have our cards out on the table. and welcome challenges and welcome questions. if the republicans say they can ensure every american for free which is what was claimed the other day, at no cost, i want to know. i told them, why would i want to get a bunch of lumps on my head doing the hard thing if you've got the easy thing. >> there you have it. will we have a question period where the president is forced to answer questions? >> we are pushing for it. so yes. >> demandquestiontime.com. sign the petition. >> it is called demand question time.
here is their website. and coming up, the obama administration is being criticized for teaching the christmas day bomber as if he was an ordinary criminal. the administration is pushing back against the gop critiques saying the suspected terrorist would have been less cooperative facing an interrogator in a military uniform. we don't know really. we'll see. it depends on the suspect. you are watching "hardball" only on msnbc. i've been an ameriprise financial advisor for 24 years. 23 years. 21 years. i do really love what i do. ♪ i have clients down the block. across the street. in the same zip code. basically next door. i see the rewards every day of the people that i help. she said, i couldn't have done this without you.
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